The militia established before the beginning of the American Revolution in Massachusetts and others colonies were called Minutemen because they were ready for any emergency "on a minute's notice." This organization was set up to bypass the regular militia, many of officers of which were Tories. After the organization had started spontaneously in sections of the colony the Massachusetts provincial congress directed other towns to do the same.
The organization was never completed because of the early outbreak of hostilities. In the encounters at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, both militia and minutemen were represented. After the beginning of the siege of Boston the provincial congress abandoned the minutemen organization and replaced it with the eight-month army. Several of the other colonies, however, following the recommendation of the Contintental Congress of July 18, 1775, did later organize minutemen for the same purpose. Only a fragmentary roster of the Massachusetts list is available.
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The Minutemen and Their World by Robert A. Gross.
The Minutemen and Their World, first published in 1976, is reissued now in a twenty-fifth anniversary edition with a new Foreword by Alan Taylor and a...
The Minute Men: The First Fight: Myths and Realities of the American Revolution by John R. Galvin.
The concept of the farmer and shopkeeper pulling rifles off pegs on the wall to fight the British has been the typical image of the American minuteman...